Students must become ‘safety savvy’

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Final year students and housemates Felicity Crome and Harley Gacke discuss their average night out in Swansea, expressing the importance of safety. 

Both spoke about how following simple guidelines and using general common sense can save someone from something worse than a hangover:

Wind Street veterans Harley (left) and Felicity (right) outline the life of Swansea University student. Photo taken by: Bethan Winstone

Safety savvy: Wind Street veterans Harley (left) and Felicity (right) claim that looking out for one another is essential to a good night. Photo taken by: Sian Dennis

“Our house is lucky, in that we have never had an argument while drunk” Harley announces, “everyone in our house is a loving drunk for sure.”

The two girls who live with four others are Wind Street old-timers, and fully admit to partying nearly every week:

“It’s all part of the experience! A part of University is to let your hair down” reveals Harley.

However, safety is always high on the girls agenda when in the midst of a girls night out:

“I’ve never felt unsafe on a night out, there are always lots of police about, especially on a student night” Felicity explains. Harley adds that “we would never leave one of us alone and we tend to all go home together at the end of the night”.

Alcohol is one of most common causes of accidents within a domestic setting and when on a night out as reported by The Institute of Alcohol Studies (IAS) who claim that ‘the presence of alcohol in the body has been shown to increase the severity of injuries from accidents’.

Drinkaware suggest that ‘regular days off from drinking’ is key to ensure a healthy lifestyle and to steer clear from alcohol addiction as the human body can build up an intolerance to its effects.

A few students confess their most embarrassing drunk antics. Photo taken by: Sian Dennis

Shame on you: A few students confess their most embarrassing drunken antics. Photo taken by: Sian Dennis

However, worryingly in November last year, The Waterfront, Swansea University’s official student newspaper reported that following a study commissioned by the paper, 1/3 of students believed they were spiked on a night out in Swansea.

The paper revealed that after a survey completed by 135 students, ‘31% claimed it had happened to them and two thirds of those who thought that had been spiked were women’.

According to the NHS, spiking involves adding drugs, and even alcohol, to someones drink without them knowing. In severe cases, this can involve ‘date rape drugs’ such as Rohypnol being added to a drink before a sexual assault.

Back in February 2013, The Telegraph reported how television personality and adventurer Ben Fogle was rushed to hospital after having his drink spiked at a country pub.

The NHS official website demonstrates a series of steps that can be used to dramatically reduce the chance of drink spiking. This involves sticking to bottled drinks, making plans for the journey home, and as student Harley stressed, never leave your drink unattended.

Drink spiking is a criminal offence, so it is vital that cases are reported to the police.

Luckily for Felicity, Harley and their friends, none of them have had their drinks spiked:

“We never leave our drinks alone nor take random drinks off tables. All of us are pretty good!” Harley concludes.

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